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Sussex

Average User Rating:
4.23077/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb:
    Single
    Broodiness:
    Average
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    High
    Egg Size:
    Medium
    Egg Color:
    White, Light brown
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly, Bears confinement well, Quiet, Docile
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    Speckled Sussex, Light Sussex
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
    6d79e637_GEDC0982.jpeg

    The Sussex is a dual purpose breed that originated in England around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, making them one of the oldest known breeds. Today they are a popular breed for show exhibitions as well as a garden breed.

    The Sussex is an alert, docile breed that can adapt to any surroundings. They are comfortable in both free range or confined spaces and in the presence of humans, although they will mate and breed better in larger spaces. The breed frequently goes broody in the warmer months. They are good foragers and are generally vigorous and hardy as a garden fowl.

    aa8c1ef1_sussex-14550-788692.jpeg
    Sussex eggs

    f1ca957c_sussex-14550-24967.jpeg
    Sussex chick

    6687fcfe_HA098447SpeckledSussex6wkslightenedcroppedVERT.jpeg
    Sussex juvenile

    56bf0a4f_sussex-14550-287120.jpeg
    Sussex hen

    85f1c6ce_sussex-14550-979360.jpeg
    Sussex rooster

    For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1154699/chicken-breed-focus-sussex/0_30
  • 6d79e637_GEDC0982.jpeg e4e60aa4_sussex-14550-120396.jpeg 85f1c6ce_sussex-14550-979360.jpeg 56bf0a4f_sussex-14550-287120.jpeg aa8c1ef1_sussex-14550-788692.jpeg f1ca957c_sussex-14550-24967.jpeg ee503d77_Shellby.PNG b57564bb_DSC05966.jpeg 17809610_Speck.jpeg 7d87126d_PicturesofOliver3-14-2012225.jpeg d492242c_TheGirls.jpeg 52f18e18_sussex-14550-378669.jpeg fb03bfb4_P7060035.jpeg eaf85eeb_HA038219Speckles1week-CROP.jpeg 6687fcfe_HA098447SpeckledSussex6wkslightenedcroppedVERT.jpeg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb: Single
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    High
    Egg Size: Medium
    Egg Color: Brown

    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    Speckled Sussex, Light Sussex
    Breed Details:
    I very much enjoy my small flock of Speckled Sussex. They are among the most curious birds in my flock and full of personality. I get a light brown to brown egg each day from my girls. They are friendly and usually run to the door of the pen when they see me coming. My Sussex rooster is the quietest of all my roos and rarely crows. While he is sometimes over zealous with the girls, he has never shown any aggression towards any of us. Even my kids can walk up to him. I've had 2 of my girls go broody this spring, but I didn't let them set so I do not know wether they would make good mothers or not. When free ranging, they do quite well. Their feathers are always glossy and we enjoy watching them scratching for bugs. These are, by far, my most favorite breed for looks and for eggs.

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    Rooster
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    Hen
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    Egg
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    Chick
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    Adolescent
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BlackHackle likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. LeeRoadPoultry
    5/5,
    "Speckled Sussex"
    Pros - Friendliest chickens ever
    Cons - Slow to mature/lay
    EE215A8B-2946-4C95-8F42-A4F95FF3789C.jpeg We only have these chickens now. You have these and you have a flock of best friends. Always follow you around the yard. Production is a plus. Feed the cockerels turkey starter and watch out. Great fryers when ready.
    Great for kids to learn husbandry because the birds are so engaging.
    Purchase Price:
    Priceless
    Purchase Date:
    Last year

    images

    1. 175AF042-7800-4876-A074-2D2138AC8472.jpeg
    2. 7AC5EBF1-EFF1-492C-8EFD-55F5E3C02F34.jpeg
    3. FE62BE8D-E1A3-4760-9BA5-7DE42D22FBC7.jpeg
    BlackHackle likes this.
  2. Aspen Anderson
    4/5,
    "Funny and LOUD!"
    Pros - Very comical, beautiful plumage, not too broody, clever
    Cons - LOUD, a little skittish, eggs a bit small for large fowl, a bit too clever
    So I currently have one Speckled Sussex. It's absolutely hilarious how much she likes food. I know what you're all thinking. She's a chicken, of course she loves food. No, you don't understand. I have never seen a chicken get so excited about food as she does.
    This hen of ours always makes us laugh. Such a big goofball and we love her. I've never really seen her get broody, which is nice for us as we only raise chickens as pets and for eggs. She definitely lays, but I hardly see her in the hen house aside from when she's actually laying or sleeping. This, for me, is a plus.

    Due to her love of food (humans always have food apparently :lol:), she also tends to follow us around and/or come when called. This is very helpful when we need to get the hens back in their coop for the evening. She won't let you pick her up, though. She'll follow you, but the moment you bend down to pick her up, she's gone. If we do manage to catch her, 90% of the time she'll..."squirt"....on us. I don't know how else to put it. It's not quite poop, and she doesn't have constant diarrhea. She just hates being held so much she'll squirt whatever it is that comes out of her vent all over us. So we just enjoy watching her be herself, a funny and clever little girl, without the need for physical contact.

    She is, however, a little too clever sometimes and - again due to her love of food and desperation to get more of it - has found ways to escape her coop. I often will go out back to discover our Sussex being the only hen out of the coop. As hilarious as it can be, this could also be a safety hazard for her.

    As I mentioned before, she's also not too broody. This is a plus for me, however she also doesn't really lay the largest eggs. If we didn't have bantams, I'd say her eggs were the smallest. Can't figure out why as she eats so much food. :rolleyes:

    All of that aside, however, my biggest complaint would be how gosh darn noisy she is! That hen can scream so loud, I sometimes wonder if my neighbors think we have a rooster. She'll scream for no reason, too. If she feels like the world needs to know her presence - which is too often - she will scream her little lungs out. I don't know if this is just a trait for our specific Sussex or if all Sussex hens are like this, but I figured it's worth considering.

    Would I recommend this breed? As much as I love our Sussex, I think it all depends. I can't really say much, though, as she is our only Sussex we've ever owned. As far as my experience with her goes, though, if you're willing to overlook the small eggs, loud noises, and dislike for being touched, Sussex hens make great and entertaining pets. I usually enjoy pets I can pet, but it really doesn't matter with this one. She still provides excellent entertainment for us and is downright gorgeous!

    screm little oreo!.png
    (Our Speckled Sussex, Oreo, screaming at the world for attention and foods.)
    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. ThreePumpkins
    5/5,
    "Sweetest hens!"
    Pros - Friendly, calm, curious, easy to handle
    Cons - None from my experience
    From day one, our Speckled Sussex hens have been the calmest, easiest to handle chickens. They do well in our mixed pet flock (of docile breeds). They tend to hang out wherever we are in the yard, and make eye-catching companions. Seriously, Speckled Sussex are stunning in the sunlight! They don't mind being picked up, and are content to be held. For a family pet, these girls are a winner
    BlackHackle likes this.

User Comments

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  1. Onslow's Hens
    This is a terrific breed for the backyard flock keeper who wants eggs AND a really sweet, curious, and pet-like chicken. Yes, pet-like. I know chickens are chickens but why not benefit from the best of both worlds! My hens are like puppy dogs. They follow me around, help me garden, sit on the arm of my lawn chair and tell me all about their day. They are just sweet hens! Mine like to be held and carried around. If I don't pick them up to say hi, they jump up and grab my pants leg to say - Hey! Notice me! I just love them. And...mine lay really well. Not as good as my Australorps but pretty darn good. Eggs are medium to large, creamy brown and shinny smooth in texture. The lay even when the temperatures are in the single digits! MY FAVS!!! My SS stay close to home and are the first back in the hen house at dusk. Just good girls.
      Farmgirl1878 likes this.
  2. flyingroosterranch
    I have one SS that is currently 6 years old. She doesn't lay anymore but will take care of any other chicks or young chickens. She has a cataract in one eye and is very tame. She has become my 74 year old mothers pet, she sits in the swing in my mom's lap. I have only good things to say about speckled sussex, they are great layers, good mothers and mine have always been calm and easily managed. Everytime they go through a molt I think they get more beautiful as their speckled pattern changes.
  3. N F C
    My 2 SS girls are the prettiest and the sweetest in my mixed flock. One is going through a heavy molt now and can't wait to see how she looks when she's completely done (already her face is much whiter). Glad you're enjoying yours as much as I am mine!
  4. hellbender
    Great! that's a start. Everyone has to start somewhere...Good luck in the future, silkiecuddles.
  5. silkiecuddles
    In answer to Hellbender's question, we didn't know he was THAT mean and there were several people with the child when she got knocked down.
    I certainly know now not to baby them as much as I do
  6. hellbender
    Yep...what triplepurpose said. lol
  7. chixgodiva
    I just got my first 2 last week, and already they are becoming friendly and curious. :)
  8. triplepurpose
    Well, to be more specific, and also put it more politely for those with less experience... :)

    Hand-raising cockerels tends to backfire--it seems that they come to see the care-taker specifically, and humans in general, as companions or flock members, rather than an outsider or a predator. So naturally, when they reach the age at which they begin to develop adult behavior, they continue to view humans as something to interact with--to establish pecking order with, and try to dominate and take charge of, because that is one thing that a rooster is supposed to do in a flock. To a dominant or would-be-dominant rooster, every flock member that doesn't acknowledge their authority is a threat to be dealt with, and when they see humans as a threat to their authority, long and comfortable familiarity makes them more likely to confront the human physically. Basic chicken politics 101--and really important to understand.

    Over and over I see people making this mistake. (and I'm guessing hellbender was having similar feelings.) Whereas, if owners would only make a bit of effort to try to understand and respect at least a few of the most basic elements of the social and psychological natures of the animals they're responsible for, it would be SO much easier for everyone! (As opposed to ignoring all this and pretending they're just like tiny retarded human children, and then getting sad, angry, or frustrated--or worse, taking it all out on the innocent animal itself--when the animal sooner or later simply happens to do something its species is naturally supposed to do, that just happens to conflict with it's owners arbitrarily self-imposed delusions about it.)
  9. hellbender
    I don't know why I bother ...but. What do you expect of a maturing cock-bird? Do your chickens live in your home environs? Why would a small child be allowed in the company of a bird that is engaged in courting and protecting his harem?

    I submit...there absolutely is a problem that needs to be dealt with but I think many people should learn to understand the animals they think they fancy before making the jump to ownership.

    In other words...GET A CLUE!!!!!!!!
  10. farnorth
    My experience was very similar. I had to SS hens, neither laid a very good egg, one laid very small eggs, one laid very chalky rough shelled eggs, they would stop laying for days at a time. Both were the first ones to come running to people for food. Both were aggressive to lower ranking younger pullets. I rehomed both.

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